Thursday, August 14, 2014

4 month Sleep training

Just when you feel you have fallen into a groove with baby, the schedule makes sense and is allowing baby to thrive, something changes! After all, babies are supposed to keep us on our toes right??

Hunter started waking in the middle of the night again! Ah!!! There's nothing more nerve-racking then a baby who was sleeping through the night suddenly waking in the middle of it!

Was he sick? Wet? Hungry? Scared? Wide awake? Did something wake him? Who knows!!

So I took that as a cue to change some things around.

First, the dream feed. I figured it was time to drop it. He was always dead asleep when I went in to get him for his dream feed. It was a struggle to get him to stay awake long enough to get some type of "full" feeding out of him. At four months and age the dream feed was not necessary as far as extra calories go.  It was done more to keep my milk supply up instead of going 9 to 10 hours without breast-feeding.

So we stopped cold turkey. I figured the worst thing that could happen is he would wake up hungry in the middle of the night. But he was doing it anyway! So away the dream feed went! And guess what? He slept through the night, and so did I!! Wool!!

The next night...2:30am...he was up and crying. After waiting a bit to see if he would go back to sleep, I ended up having to feed him. He ate like he hadn't had a meal in years.

Time to reevaluate again!

At this age, Babywise suggests having five full feedings throughout the day rather than the six I was giving Hunter. This seems counterproductive right? Why would I drop a feeding and a dream feed if he was waking up hungry?

Two reasons:

1)  He was eating every two and half to three hours during the day. I would just automatically feed him if it was that three hour mark and he hadn't shown signs of hunger yet. But when I thought about it that didn't make much sense! What would end up happening is he would not take a full feeding. Full feedings are so crucial to the babies sleep! Why do I forget that?

2) Having six feedings a day meant he was having about five today! Sounds great right? No. He was having five "catnaps" a day. That's exhausting for baby and mom! Not to mention he was not getting his restorative sleep that's necessary for his growth! Moving to this new schedule would mean that he would have three solid nap today.

So yesterday we tried it!  It went really well except for the fact that he would only sleep for 30 to 40 minutes for his three naps.. So today I really tried to focus on getting a FULL feeding first thing in the morning, and at each feeding throughout the day. He fed really well this morning, and ended up sleeping 1 hour 20 minutes for his nap. WOO WHO!!!!! It had been weeks since he's done that. What another reminder of how important the feedings are to the little one's day!

Oh and you may be wondering how last night went after he switched to his new schedule? He made it through the night! Woo! 

Now...I am no fool, I know this could be a fluke but parenting is all about trial and error especially for a first-time mom.

I'll keep you posted! Xoxo-B

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